Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oracle SQL Developer

I needed to access some data on our corporate Oracle database server. Unfortunately, no information was given to me other that the PHP connection string. I had not idea about the table or view names either, so I tried to use a database management tool but lacking any previous knowledge about Oracle databases I look for what I've used in the past. I was quite happy with EMS Postgresql Manager and I learned they do have a simlilar product for Oracle databases, but after installing it I learned I needed to install SQL*Net software which I did not know where to get from.

However, a quick Google search lead me to another gem from Oracle: SQL developer and the word free captured my attention inmediately. It turns out it is a nice Java program that is available for a variety of platforms. I'm currently using it on Windows and Linux successfully (please note JDK >=1.5 is required).

Using this program I was able to learn about the tables on the server but not before I was able to discover the SID value which was not given to me but apparently necessary to connect to the server.

Sqldeveloper works nicely and it has many useful features (provided you are familiar with SQL language). For some weird reason it did not print on Ubuntu Linux, not even to a file. It has many useful export filters (i.e. XML, HTML, CSV, TEXT ...) and you can beat the price. The only drawback is that you need to register first, but it is a quick one.

Definitely worth a try if you are into Oracle databases. Just do not be confused, this is not MS Access, you have no macro capability nor forms or reports features (well ... actually it does but I still need to learn about that). But you can always use your Oracle database from MS Access by installing the ODBC driver on your Windows machine.

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